Is it meant to be this hard?!

marty1986

Member
I really hope some kind soul out there can help me!

I'm in the market for a new media player. Until recently I owned (admittedly very ancient now!) a Popcorn C200 media player. I loved it! My needs were extremely simple; I wanted to download files (mainly TV shows) from the internet onto my PC and then transfer the files over an ethernet connection to the built-in hard drive on my C200 to store and play at a later date.

Sadly my Popcorn C200 has finally bit the dust, but even before that I was considering a new player as the C200 can't play HEVC files nor can it play 4K content, so I'm now looking for a replacement. I've struggled to find a simple player with HDD functionality (internal or external) that I can connect to my PC without too much fuss or technical know-how.

I have zero interest in streaming the content to the player from my PC. I'm not really interested in using a media player for accessing content providers such as Netflix or Amazon. My TV can do that. I don't want to play games on my media player. All I want to do is play video files that I have transferred to the player over an ethernet connection. Most media players I've seen seem to be Android-based devices packed with features I just won't use and overly bloated interfaces to match.

I was loaned a A95X Maxx II Android player a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely hate it. On paper it sounds great; it could play almost every media format out there. It supported 4K etc. But connectivity to my PC for the simple task of copying files from my PC to the internal drive on the A95X was excruciatingly fussy and (for me, a technophobe) complicated. So many hoops to jump through to get a barely acceptable connection. I could transfer a file over to my C200 from my PC just by opening Windows File Explorer and dragging & dropping the files into a folder on the C200. Boom! Done!

Is there any moderately priced device out there that will suit my needs? I don't want an all-singing, all-dancing fancy-pants interface and connections to a bazillion different streaming services. I just want to copy files from my PC to my player's internal (or external if need be) hard drive to store and watch at a later date. Surely such a simple device must exist that even newbie technophobes like me can use?

I'd really appreciate a helping hand here. :)
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
If you want a simple and straight interface without going through any hoops:

1) Vero 4K+
2) Zidoo Z9X
 

dion 6

Well-known Member
Igans316 beat me to it a Vero4K + would be perfect for your needs and if you wanted a player that could play dolby vision as well the Zidoo Z9X. I came from a popcorn hour A300 to the original Vero4K which I've been using for 3 years now and its a great little player
 

marty1986

Member
Thanks so much for the replies. Really appreciated. Aren't the two main suggestions both Android-based devices though? I'm worried that I'll have similar battles with those devices that I had with the A95X.
 

dion 6

Well-known Member
Thanks so much for the replies. Really appreciated. Aren't the two main suggestions both Android-based devices though? I'm worried that I'll have similar battles with those devices that I had with the A95X.
No it's not android based it runs on OSMC. Vero uses OSMC, which is special GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian. Hope that helps
 

dion 6

Well-known Member
That's great. One more question; can I power an external 2.5" USB drive through the Vero USB input or will the drive need to be powered?
It's recommended to use a powered drive I've got 2 powered drive connected to a non powered USB hub. But they recommend on their site a powered USB hub to connect your USB drives to if you haven't got a powered drive

 
Last edited:
I went from Popcorn to a Zappiti mini 4k several years ago, but I do have a NAS. It can have a drive attached externally via SATA but that's probably very ugly. They have other units (One, Pro, Dual, etc.) that can house drive(s) internally.

You might also look at Dune and Zidoo as options, especially Dune. When I made my choice, neither one had new units out, but now they do, with Dolby Vision (DV) support, and Zappiti does not.

Zappiti has a very nice movie wall/interface though. It takes a little getting used to, especially since it's either stored in the 'cloud', requiring internet access, or on a local external database.
 

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